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Billy Hart


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William “Billy” Hart (born November 29, 1940) is a jazz drummer and educator who has performed with some of the most important jazz musicians in history.

Early on he performed in Washington, D.C. with soul artists such as Otis Redding and Sam and Dave, and then later with Buck Hill and Shirley Horn, and was a sideman with the Montgomery Brothers (1961), Jimmy Smith (1964-1966), and Wes Montgomery (1966-1968). Following Montgomery’s death in 1968, Hart moved to New York, where he recorded with McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul, and played with Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, and Marian McPartland.

Hart was a member of Herbie Hancock’s sextet (1969-1973), and played with McCoy Tyner (1973-1974) and Stan Getz (1974-1977), in addition to extensive freelance playing (including recording with Miles Davis on 1972’s On the Corner).

Currently Billy Hart is one of the most in-demand jazz drummers and teachers alive. Since the early 1990’s Billy Hart has devoted a lot of time to teaching. He spends considerable time at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, but he is also adjunct faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music and Western Michigan University. He also teaches private lessons through The New School and New York University, and often contributes to the Stokes Forest Music Camp and the Dworp Summer Jazz Clinic in Belgium.

Hart is on about 500 records as a sideman.

His current group is a quartet with Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson, and Ben Street. An album of this band came out in August 2006 on the High Note label.

Hart resides in Montclair, New Jersey.[1]


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